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Citrus canker spreads; so will inspections

The disease that is destroying lime and other citrus groves in Miami-Dade and Broward counties is spreading westward, and there are fears it will also move north along Florida's east coast.

Officials said citrus canker has been found in five orange and grapefruit groves and six residential properties in Collier and Hendry counties. About 200,000 infected trees and those nearby have been burned or marked for destruction. There is no cure for an infected tree.

Canker, a bacterial plant disease that can be spread by wind and rain, human hands and machinery, was discovered in a Miami-Dade commercial grove Jan. 5. It is feared it will spread to grapefruit and orange groves in Central Florida.

About 50 inspectors will be hired to check thousands of acres of citrus from Palm Beach County north to Brevard County for the disease, said Richard Gaskalla, director of the plant industry division of the Florida Department of Agriculture.

Thousands of lime trees have been destroyed in south Miami-Dade commercial groves. Growers there already have lost more than half of the fruits of their $20-million-a-year industry.

Memorial honors those

killed disarming bombs

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE _ A memorial to 168 military bomb squad members who died in the line of duty was dedicated Thursday at a school that trains service personnel for the deadly work.

Those who lost their lives while trying to disarm or otherwise neutralize bombs, booby traps and other explosive devices are heroes, said Rear Adm. David Brewer, vice chief of naval education and training at Pensacola Naval Air Station. "This memorial will ensure that their deeds will be remembered through the ages."

The bunker-like granite memorial with four large bronze plaques is similar to one that was dismantled at Indian Head, Md., where the Navy's ordnance disposal school once was located.

Although operated by the Navy, the school also teaches Marine Corps, Air Force and Army personnel. It has been moved to Eglin Air Force Base in phases over the past 12 years.

_ Staff and wire reports

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